Why should you go to Mountain Mayhem 2016?


Retrobike Rider
Gold Trader
As 2015 draws to a close it's time to plan ahead for events in 2016.
One of the main stays of the Retrobike calendar is our attendance at Mountain Mayhem.

There are already a few threads up organising teams and racing/drinking strategies, but in case you weren't sure here are a few clues from Retro Spud as to why you need to be there in 2016...


10 reasons why you should go to Mountain Mayhem 2016

What is Mountain Mayhem?

Strip it bare and it’s a 24hr Mountain Bike race.
However, there is far more to it than that. It’s more like a Mountain Bike Festival starting on the Friday when the gates open and running through to midday Sunday when the race ends and the track closes. in between its a massive tribal gathering of thousands of like-minded folk.

The notion of racing for 24 hour MTB race is not a new one, it was the Americans who got the ball rolling in the early 90’s when the sport was still in its infancy, Mountain Mayhem followed in 1998 when Patrick Adams organised the first British 24hr MTB race but added a twist, a “Le Mans” style running start.
Over the years its grown up, had a number of different homes and currently resides at Gatcombe Park. This beautiful Royal estate in Gloucestershire, is the home of Princess Anne and is better known for hosting 3-day eventing on horses rather than a mountain bike events… it's a secret it keeps well.

Year on year Mountain Mayhem attracts thousands of entries and remains the biggest MTB event in the UK and probably the biggest 24hr race in the World.

Where is it held?
Gatcombe Park is in Gloucestershire and located at the most southerly tip of the Cotswolds and surprisingly well connected to the main roads such as the M5 running to its West, M40 to the right and the M4 just to the south. Being a Royal estate its naturally tucked away far from prying eyes. On event weekends it becomes one of the most well sign posted destinations in the UK.

When is it ?
It’s normally on or as close to the summer solstice as possible taking advantage of the maximum daylight hours. It's the perfect time of year for a 24 hour race and also offers a good chance of dry weather.
For 2016 gates open on Friday the 17th June with racing starting at 12 noon on Saturday the 18th and finishing at noon on Sunday the 19th June.
Should the weather be inclement Gatcombe Park as an ace up its sleeve, it’s situated in an area of the Cotswolds that benefits from having stoney/sandy soil that lends its self to draining quickly.

How much does it cost ?
Your entry fee is based upon how many there are in the team, solo being the most expensive and a ten man team being the cheapest (Pro Rata), it could be as little as £43 for a whole weekend. Your race entry fee also covers your camping costs even if you bring the kids and a six birth caravan you’re covered. Naturally all amenities you’d expect are also included such as “free” hot showers, plenty of fresh running water, ample toilets, bike washing facilities, and a whole village area catering for your every whim, not to mention the numerous trade stands for you to peruse.

Using last years costing(s) the cheapest entry fee is for a single person in a ten man team which works out at £42.00 plus a £1 booking fee.

Why go with Retrobike?
So you regularly post and exchange comments with tons of folk online at Retro Bike, but you don’t actually know anyone? ……does this sound familiar and been putting you off taking the plunge? Well I was that person not so long ago. My one big regret these days is having not taken the leap of faith a lot sooner, you won’t meet as many like-minded people in one place, wall to wall Retro all camped together in our own Retro Area united by our love of “antique bikes”.

Many Retro riders arrive on Friday in order to take a leisurely ride of the track and of course partake of the Retro Bike pre-Race BBQ which allows everyone to meet up, enjoy as few tunes from the 90’s and of course sink a couple of beers whilst catching up on, or discussing their builds etc, with the race not starting until noon on Saturday a lazy morning is usually the order of the day.



Lighting a BBQ with GT85 isn’t to be recommended even if you have “Upmarket” Jack Daniels BBQ chip made from Old Whisky Barrels as a smokey seasoning.

The Banter
Some people come to race, some come to be part of a team others come just for the Banter! Thanks to the organisers (Pat Adams) routing the last part of the track through the camping area, it naturally follows that the Retro clan can’t resist laying claim to a section of prime time track side real estate in order to enter into enthusiastic but light hearted heckling all from the comfort of the beer tent or a comfy trackside deck chair, no one is spared, from the great and good uber fit racing whippets, to those reducing to walking back with a broken chain there is no escape from the now famous Retro Heckle area which has grown its our unique identity and becoming a regular (and welcomed) fixture over the years.
In essence it just a bunch of guys who should know better just goofing off with a megaphone and escaping the realities of modern life for a weekend, with of coarse a bit of racing thrown in for good measure.

What more can you ask for, even the Mags are positively vintage let alone the booze

When you turn up just for the banter you can party until the wee hours even on race day! The "Gentleman Jack" was obviously in full effect.

Its been years since I last entered raced, and I’m not the racing snake I used to be, and I don’t want to let anyone down.
As far as I’m aware nobody on a Retro rig has ever gotten within a million miles of the podium, let alone actually set out with the slightest intention or ambition of winning anything, sure some solo’s or four man teams are made of some very fit and keen riders who are competitive, however most ten man teams are there just for the enjoyment and a few laps dispersed across the 24hrs.

The Facts: (Taken from the Official Website)
• Riders aim to complete as many laps as possible within 24hrs, fastest teams will be around 40 laps, solo between 30 and 35 laps.
• Distance: one lap is 12km (7.5 miles)
• Ascent (m): 320m
• Estimate Fastest time: 35min
• Typical/average time: 50min

Okay so you’re unlikely to be turning up on a mega buck carbon fibre 29’er having completed months of training at altitude, you’ve come to have fun! so forget the times above, last year the typical person in two out of the three Retro 10 man teams averaged 55 mins, and over 24hrs achieved a combined lap count of 25 laps, or 2 laps per person with the odd member getting to do a third one. If you want more excitement or commitment then a four or a five man team are there for the taking.

Martin (AKA Harrycrumb) and his Clockwork in action.


Do I need lights
If you have them great, if not don’t worry there are usually more people after a night ride than there are hours of darkness to accommodate them.

Can I bring a modern ride as well
Many bring both, from Phat bikes to 29er and even single speed. The emphasis is on having fun but be prepared for a little ribbing if you do bring a spanking new modern rig.

How do I enter
Official entry doesn’t open until the end of February 2016 however unless you’re going to fly solo, you’ll need to be part of team. Places are limited to 1,850 however it soon fills up and is often oversubscribed in most categories, so it pays to have things sorted well in advance.

If you want to enter as part of a wider team either enter you details via this link (link to be created) or check out whats happening in your region here viewforum.php?f=72 if your looking to join a team who want to challenge themselves against the course and taking it a little more seriously

Don’t wait and put it on your bucket list for when your too damn old to enter.

Instead get a gate pass of the wife, book Friday off work and come along. What’s the worst that can happen? :shock:

Retro Spud


A note from me (drystonepaul):

Thanks Nick! That pretty much sums up what to expect from Mayhem. Having attended the past five Mayhems with Retrobike I can honestly say that it is a great weekend away, whether you are riding or not.
The Retrobike area has a fantastic friendly atmosphere and everyone should feel welcome. It's a great place to meet new people, say hello to old friends and appreciate dozens of fantastic old bikes.

Obviously the only thing I don't agree with is all that nonsense about riding modern bikes... pffft!
10 solo laps on a fully rigid, fully period correct 1993 Univega Alpina never did me any harm in 2013. That's the whole point of riding under the Retrobike banner!

Anyway, here are some links to the Retrobike Mountain Mayhem aftermaths since the first attendance in 2008:

2015: --> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=327319
2014: --> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=299643
2013: --> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=260525
2012: --> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=208349
2011: --> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=154246
2010: --> viewtopic.php?t=106306
2009: --> viewtopic.php?t=64279
2008: --> viewtopic.php?t=33306


Having done 4 of these now I can echo the feelings of Spud....however I do think whilst the love of the retro is a strong one, I cannot disregard the advances of new tech. Sure a retro ride is what the site is about, but to think that every one who rides retro does so exclusively is not so. I happily bring both old and new and ride both. They give me a different experience, and to me its more about the people, the banter and the shared love of all things two wheeled!

See you there in 2016!


Thanks Paul for tidying it up and adding a sticky so it stays at the top

Mayhem may mean different things to different people but everyone agrees it's always a great weekend away, :D
If anyone fancies joining a Non regional ten man team then pop on over to here ➡️ viewtopic.php?f=5&t=334795 and register your interest.

You've got until registration opens in very early March to make your mind up, but don't leave it until the last minute as most categories are full within days rather than weeks of registration opening,

Still time to ask Santa for a gate pass :xmas-wink: or Bribe the other half with an extra Xmas gift or two


How many times can you spot Gruff in the selection of random photos above.....never had him as an habitual photo bomber. ;)
try her dude, you never know. what could be more romantic than drinking, eating, heckling and riding? :)
Right then. I'm absolutely up for this.

I'd be a first timer and going solo. Apologies for the beginner question: are you allowed to use more than one bike during the duration? i.e. can I used the Kona fleet or do I have to stick to one?

In addition, what's the course like overall? Is full suss completely necessary?
al-onestare":167ljbux said:
Right then. I'm absolutely up for this.

I'd be a first timer and going solo. Apologies for the beginner question: are you allowed to use more than one bike during the duration? i.e. can I used the Kona fleet or do I have to stick to one?

In addition, what's the course like overall? Is full suss completely necessary?

As many as you like, it has it's ups and downs with nothing too technical and no.